Schizophrenia

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Overview

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms. It affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It causes abnormal interpretation of reality and may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning.

Symptom

Schizophrenia symptoms can differ from person to person and the severity, duration and frequency of symptoms can vary. Symptoms of schizophrenia can include,

Hallucinations – see , hear, smell, taste, feel things that do not exist

Delusions – unusual beliefs not based on reality

Disorganized thinking

Bizarre behavior or abnormal movements

Muddle speech based on hallucinations or delusions

Losing interest in everyday activities

Loss of interest in self-care, personal hygiene

Social interaction avoidance cognitive symptoms eg. problems in processing information to make decisions, problems in attention-concentration and memory

When to see doctor

When schizophrenic symptoms was recognized, special consultation is recommended. People with schizophrenia often lack awareness that their difficulties are caused by mental disorder that requires medical attention. So family or friends should offer them help.

When to get emergency help

Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common among schizophrenic people, and emergency help is needed.

Diagnosis

Medical examination to rule out substance misuse or other neurological or medical illnesses whose symptoms mimic schizophrenia should be performed firstly. Some lab tests or imaging studies might be needed. Psychiatric evaluation and diagnostic criteria by standard tools/ tests is used for diagnostic confirmation and treatment plan.

Treatment

Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment.

Medication

Psychosocial interventions eg.

Hospitalization is needed in some cases /episode of symptom

Electroconvulsive therapy as indicated